Berry Crisp : Easy & Delicious Dessert

Who said crisp was a thing of the fall!? When I had a craving for those cinnamony-sugar crumbles, I decided to improvise and use the ingredients I had. This tangy but sweet berry crisp was the result, and when topped with a dollop of old fashioned vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream it becomes dessert at its finest (and it only takes about a half hour from start to finish!) When baked individually, it would make a wonderful addition to a dessert bar at a rustic wedding, and can even be packaged up as a pretty little favor (sans cream of course!).

2014-03-28_0036 2014-03-28_0037 2014-03-28_0038

2014-03-28_0039 2014-03-28_0040 2014-03-28_0041 2014-03-28_0042

berry crisp

Anisette Cookies : A Taste of Home

Growing up, we knew company was coming when the house smelled of anisette cookies.  My mom always whipped up a batch right before friends stopped by for a visit. The traditional Italian cookie gets its flavoring from the anise extract, and while it looks like biscotti, and uses the same twice-baked procedure, these cookies are much softer and doughier (although I tend to under-bake all my cookies…purposefully!). They would make a sweet addition to a brunch-style bridal shower (think cookie bar!) and would be a great wedding favor for an afternoon affair. They are the perfect easy, all-around-likeable recipe for a chat over tea or with a good old-fashioned glass of milk, and are even better dipped in chocolate!2014-03-13_0001 2014-03-13_0002anisette cookies 2

Simple & Pretty

Winter isn’t the best time for beautiful flowers, but I’m a firm believer in turning the everyday norm into something sweet. When spring fever came on strong a few weeks ago, a simple floral arrangement brightened the day. This whimsical bouquet of hearty hydrangeas and carnations was a refreshing break from the green and brown that is a Seattle winter. Normally I’m not a big fan of carnations, but their mini size and fresh peachy color reminded me a bit of spray roses (and yes, they came from the grocery store…gasp!). Hope this adds a bit of simple & pretty to your Monday afternoon.2014-03-10_0001 2014-03-10_0002 2014-03-10_0003 2014-03-10_0004Photos: Lora Grady

The French 76

It’s no secret that I love champagne and usually find myself coming up with excuses to celebrate with a bottle. Even before I was old enough for the alcoholic version, I was clinking glasses with sparkling juice. I love the pop of the cork, the fizzing of the bubbles, the refreshing zing it delivers, and the variety of beautifully crafted labels. I also love the air of glamour that comes with sipping from a flute. I’m always looking for new ways to serve champagne and this recipe does just the trick. It’s a slightly altered version of the French 75  (with the addition of St. Germain) and would make a great signature drink for a wedding or event. And it just so happens to pair perfectly with yesterday’s Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake.2014-03-05_00022014-03-05_0001 2014-03-05_0003 2014-03-05_0004 2014-03-05_0005 2014-03-05_0006 2014-03-05_0007 2014-03-05_0008 2014-03-05_0009

french 76

Photos: Lora Grady

Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake

This is one of my favorite cake recipes. My first bite of lemon mascarpone cake was at a tiny tea house in my hometown of upstate New York. When flying home for a slice wasn’t an option, I decided to tackle it myself, and to my surprise my version tasted just like it (okay, maybe even a little better)! This cake is always popular with company, even for those who claim they’re “not a cake person”. The fluffy mascarpone frosting is the perfect kind of sweet and don’t even get me started on the buttery lemon crumbles. Check in tomorrow for a champagne cocktail pairing!

2014-03-03_0016 2014-03-03_0017 2014-03-03_0018 2014-03-03_0019

2014-03-03_0020 2014-03-03_0021 2014-03-03_0022 2014-03-03_00232014-03-03_0024 2014-03-03_0025 2014-03-03_0026 2014-03-03_00272014-03-03_0028ingredients



Photos: Lora Grady